Belize - Forest Township
Belize is located in northeast Central America, near the Caribbean
Sea. Covering an area of 22,970 square kilometers, it has a
population of about 274,000, most of whom are Creole, with other
large groups being Indians, Mayans, and others. Residents are
Catholic and the official language is English, although nearly half
of the residents speak Spanish or Creole. The currency is the Belize
dollar and the capital is Belmopan.
The Belize flag contains two slim horizontal strips of red,
separated by an expanse of blue. In the middle there is a white
circle which contains 50 green leaves around an emblem. Blue
symbolizes the sky and ocean, and red symbolizes victory and the
sun. The 50 green leaves commemorate the country’ struggle for
independence and its victory in 1950.
Belize was originally inhabited by the Maya, but at the beginning of
the 16th century it was colonized by Spain. In 1658, the British
invaded and officially declared it a British colony in 1862,
renaming it British Honduras. In June 1975 the country changed its
name to Belize and on September 21, 1981, declared independence,
joining the Commonwealth.
Economy and Cultural Customs
Belizes’s economy is dominated by agriculture, but is industrially
underdeveloped. Most of the people's livelihood is dependent on
imported supplies. The forest area accounts for 70% of the total
land area, enabling the production of mahogany, hematoxylin,
genistein, and other precious timber. Coastal fisheries are a rich
natural resource, with an abundance of lobster, swordfish, manatee,
and corals. Belize also has the world's only jaguar and red-footed
booby protected areas.